A presentation tonight at Canterbury Christ Church University sees Ralph Stacey, Professor of Management and Director of the Complexity and Management Centre at the University of Hertfordshire, argue that executives should not underestimate the power of communication and relationships within an organisation.
That certainly sounds relevant to public relations, but the lecture – The Myth of the Organisational Machine – is taking place in the University’s Centre for Applied Social and Psychological Development (CASPD).
The professor believes we need to understand the complexity of relationships between people in organisations rather than apply a mechanistic approach to management. He says organisations need to recognise that “the unexpected can happen and people in organisations can react in messy ways that rely on personal miscommunication and unconscious processes.”
That is a call for crisis management based on understanding human communications and interactions. This sounds a fascinating topic, and I’m not familiar with Professor Stacey’s work. However his text on the challenge of complexity sounds very interesting and I’ll check this out further.
There is a lot of thinking going on outside the academic PR world that is highly relevant to the profession – and it seems a shame that management and others working in areas where we operate seem unaware of the role of PR in organisations.